Objective: To evaluate the fruit and vegetable intakes of Australian adults aged 19-64 years.
Methods: Intake data were collected as part of the National Nutrition Survey 1995 representing all Australian States and Territories, including city, metropolitan, rural and remote areas. Dietary intake of 8,891 19-to-64 year-olds was assessed using a structured 24-hour recall. Intake frequency was assessed as the proportion of participants consuming fruit and vegetables on the day prior to interview and variety was assessed as the number of subgroups of fruit and vegetables consumed. Intake levels were compared with the recommendations of the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating (AGHE).
Results: Sixty-two per cent of participants consumed some fruit and 89% consumed some vegetables on the day surveyed. Males were less likely to consume fruit and younger adults less likely to consume fruit and vegetables compared with females and older adults respectively. Variety was primarily low (1 subcategory) for fruit and medium (3-4 subcategories) for vegetables. Thirty-two per cent of adults consumed the minimum two serves of fruit and 30% consumed the minimum five serves of vegetables as recommended by the AGHE. Eleven per cent of adults met the minimum recommendations for both fruit and vegetables.
Conclusion: A large proportion of adults have fruit and vegetable intakes below the AGHE minimum recommendations.
Implications: A nationally integrated, long-term campaign to increase fruit and vegetable consumption, supported by policy changes to address structural barriers to consumption, is vital to improve fruit and vegetable consumption among adults.